Manukau Anti-Sexworker Bill Finally Dead!!!

February 26, 2015 in General

The Manukau City Council (Regulating Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill, which sought to recriminalise street prostitution, and  put up by the Manukau City Council, which no longer exists, has finally been scrapped by Parliament. Manukau City Council began its campaign a decade ago through a bill, sponsored on its behalf by local conservative Labour MPs, which would have given it the power to ban street sex work through ordinances.  Parliament didn’t like the idea of giving a council powers which none of the others had, and the bill was obstructed.  Then Manukau City Council disappeared in the amalgamation which created Auckland Council. A Parliamentary committee decided Auckland Council does have the power to make the by-laws, and the bill became redundant although it remained on Parliament’s agenda:

“It’s time to say to Auckland Council ‘pass a by-law, because you can’,” Labour’s Annette King said during the bill’s second reading debate yesterday. ”Auckland Council can go ahead tomorrow if they wish.”

The bill was defeated 109-11. Only NZ First supported it.

Postscript: Proving that some things never change, however, the Manukau Courier (08.03.2015) ran an article on Manukau area boarding houses. Commendably, it raised issues related to sanitation, building safety and the itinerant nature of ex-prisoners and long-term institutionalised mental health patients. It featured one individual advocating for a licensing system and described inhabitants of such venues as predominantly single men. Unfortunately, however, the publication just couldn’t resist the opportunity to stigmatise sex workers, who were evicted from the premises if they were brought back to rented rooms by boarding house dwellers, and categorised alongside ‘drug dealers.’  One such venue has a “No Hoes” sign (sic) prominently emblazoned across its front door.

Source: http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/parliament-scraps-old-prostitution-bill-2015022522#ixzz3SmvrFEil

James Ireland: “Boarding Houses at the Bottom of the Cliff”: Manukau Courier: 05.03.2015: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/manukau-courier/66942587/Boarding-houses-at-the-bottom-of-the-cliff

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